For many businesses, large or small, the benefits of making long-term energy-saving improvements are well known. However, the cost of implementing new technologies has stopped many businesses from making significant changes. Fortunately there are now a number of financial incentives available to those looking to go green. Here we take a closer look at some of them…
Renewable heat incentive (RHI)
The Renewable Heat Incentive is the world’s first long-term financial support programme for renewable heat. It launched in November 2011 to provide payments to industry, businesses and public sector organisations. It works by paying participants that generate and use renewable energy to heat their buildings. By increasing the generation of heat from renewable energy sources (instead of fossil fuels), the RHI helps the UK reduce greenhouse gas emissions and meet its energy targets.
On 4th December 2013 a series of further improvements were announced. These included increased support for air to water heat pumps and energy from waste. They also included an evolved approach to budget management to make sure the scheme remains affordable and achieves value for money.
Feed-in tariffs (FiT scheme)
Introduced in April 2010, this scheme pays businesses for the electricity they generate through solar, wind turbines, hydro, anaerobic digesters or combined heat-and-power systems. You could be paid for every kilowatt hour (kWh) of electricity you generate from a renewable source – even if you use it. Plus, you’ll also get paid extra for the electricity you don’t use as it’ll be fed into the Grid. It means you could be paid for the next 20 years for the electricity you generate from a renewable source. Any payments are in addition to the savings you’ll make by not having to buy all your electricity from your supplier.
Just remember, how much support you receive depends on your property’s Energy Performance Certificate rating, so it’s worth investigating your business’ energy efficiency before applying.
Smart meter roll out
Installing a smart meter helps small business owners cut bills by gaining a more accurate picture of their energy usage – and it’s one of the simplest, most cost-effective ways to help save energy. All UK energy suppliers will be obliged to provide business customers with smart meters by 2019, but our market-leading, large-scale installation programme has already started. So far we’ve installed smart meters in thousands of businesses across the UK. You can find out more about smart meters at britishgas.co.uk/smartbusiness